“Fear Factor Live” a Victim of the Fear Factor

Filed under: Business,Entertainment,Theme Parks,Vacation Tips |

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Universal Orlando’s “Fear Factor Live” attraction was temporarily closed Thursday amid a factor of fear and uncertainty about the economy.

The attraction, which challenges park guests to gross-out stunts like the ones on the NBC television show, will reopen in the spring. Universal spokesman Tom Schroder wouldn’t say how many months the attraction would be shuttered but said it was a result of changes in seasonal demand and the business forecast for the rest of the year.

“What we know is that 2009 is going to have its share of challenges and so we’re managing our business as best as we can so we can meet those challenges,” Schroder said.

A limited number of other rides and attractions at the two-theme park resort will have their hours reduced, but visitors shouldn’t notice the changes, Schroder said. The resort is home to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

“We’re changing schedules based on guest demand,” Schroder said. “Our visitors will be able to experience the shows and rides they want to.”

The decision to shutter “Fear Factor Live” temporarily was made as Orlando’s theme parks feel squeezed by the recession. Universal Orlando laid off 70 employees less than a month ago, and last month The Walt Disney Co. offered voluntary buyout packages to about 600 executives at its U.S. theme parks unit.

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